Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
What the Digital Sign Flashed at Me as I Drove Downtown

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Find alternate routes
as if there is another path through this thicket,
as if we are sleeping beauties
and can be kissed out of our darkness,
as if we can cut away kudzu
and it will stop letting down its insidious hair,
as if we can uproot bittersweet
and it will cease its blood red choking of the lilacs,
as if you will be unchanged,
robust like you were when I was seven
and we crouched together in mirrored pose
mimicking the stance of breaking into a run,
me in my burnt orange corduroy jumpsuit,
hair parted to the side and clasped with a barrette,
my blue Keds beside your running sneakers
still laced tight from the hometown 5K you raced
in your sweaty, sun-worn baseball cap,
your skin browned from being in the world,
early fall 1979, and every beautiful muscle showed
in your legs and your flashing smile,
oh, damn this route you are racing now,
all those other games gone,
your detour paved with brittle prognosis,
coasting swells nothing like the adrenalin
that used to course through,
making you feel every inch a man.


Rebecca Hart Olander‘s poetry has appeared in Brilliant Corners, Common Ground Review, Dandelion Review, Mom Egg Review, Naugatuck River Review, Silkworm, and Yemassee Journal, and her book reviews have appeared in Rain Taxi Review of Books, Solstice Literary Magazine, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Collaborative work with creative partner Elizabeth Paul has been published in They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing and is forthcoming online in Duende. Rebecca is a Women’s National Book Association poetry contest winner and a Pushcart Prize nominee. She teaches writing at Westfield State University and is the editor/director of Perugia Press.


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A lovely, tender and powerful poem. The power of love, memory, loss and loving reflection. At 67, I find myself often immersed in life review. Your children need your words. This is part of their heritage. Congratulations, well done! Thanks, for writing and sharing. A precious photo.